Bachelor's in Applied Mathematics

Why pursue a bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics?

The Applied Mathematics concentration consists of a broad undergraduate education in the mathematical sciences, especially in those subjects that have proved vital to an understanding of problems arising in other disciplines, and in some specific area where mathematical methods have been substantively applied. For concentrators, a core learning objective is building and demonstrating foundational knowledge in computation, probability, discrete, and continuous mathematics through the successful completion of the foundation and breadth courses. The degree provides the opportunity for combining mathematical thinking with any subject for which mathematics can be productively applied.

At Harvard College, students choose a "concentration," which is what we call a major. All prospective undergraduate students, including those intending to study engineering and applied sciences, apply directly to Harvard College. During your sophomore spring you’ll declare a concentration, or field of study. You may choose from 50 concentrations and 49 secondary field (from Harvard DSO website).

At a professional level the difference between an applied mathematician and a practitioner in a given field can be very small, when the two are working on problems in that field. However, the applied mathematician's primary interest is in the general way that mathematics is applied, and as such, also could use variants of the same methods to study other fields.

Learn about our Applied Math concentrators >

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Bachelor of Arts (A.B.)

Applied mathematics represents a quantitative liberal arts degree. The degree provides the opportunity for combining mathematical thinking with any subject for which mathematics can be productively applied.

In some instances, combining applied mathematics with a particular subject can lead to a program of study that is quite similar to studying that subject itself. For example, applied mathematics with physics as an application area is quite similar to studying physics. On the other hand, there are other instances (combining applied mathematics with psychology or government) where the degree program would be quite different.

The area of application is an integral part of the concentration. Students are encouraged to select an area of application that corresponds to an area of intellectual interest.  Current concentrators have chosen application areas ranging from government, psychology, astronomy or astrophysics, and chemistry, to theoretical neuroscience.

For those interested in the Applied Math concentration with specialization in Economics, requirements are defined and updated in cooperation with the Economics Department

AB/SM Program

Our AB/SM degree program is for currently enrolled Harvard College students only.


Learn about the prerequisites for the concentration and the differences between the S.B. and A.B. tracks on on our First Year Exploration page. Students interested in concentrating in Applied Mathematics can be matched with a Peer Concentration Advisor. PCAs serve as peer advisors for pre-concentrators (and current concentrators), providing a valuable perspective and helping students to discover additional resources and opportunities. Learn more about the Peer Concentration Advisor program.


Learn more about the concentration requirements >

View current Applied Math courses >

Research Opportunities in Applied Math

As part of your applied math coursework, or perhaps as part of individual research opportunities working with professors, you will have the chance to take part in or participate in some extraordinary projects. Learn more about research opportunities at Harvard SEAS.

Learn about the research interests of our applied math faculty.

Bachelor’s in Applied Math Career Paths

Students go on to a range of careers in industry, academics, to professional schools in business, law, medicine, and, well, just about anything. Read about some of our Applied Math alumni.

Clubs and Organizations

SEAS-affiliated student organizations are critical to the overall growth of our concentrators as engineering and applied science professionals. These organizations enable our students to pursue passion projects and events in areas of interest that are complementary to the current formal academic curriculum. Learn more about SEAS-affiliated student clubs and organizations.